Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder that affects over 44 million people globally, 750,000 of which are South Africans. While there's no cure for this type of dementia associated with memory loss and other severe cognitive problems, efforts are underway to prevent, delay or treat it.
According to British neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli who specialises in Alzheimer's research and has authored a book on the subject, turmeric is one natural ingredient that holds promise in fighting off Alzheimer's disease. He attributes this benefit to curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice.
Read on to learn how turmeric may fight off Alzheimer's disease…
There’s growing evidence that turmeric plays a role in countering Alzheimer’s disease
Jebelli explains that Alzheimer’s disease occurs when a protein called plaques and tangles build up and kill brain cells – and that there’s growing evidence that curcumin plays a positive role in countering this.
“They’ve shown in lots of cell culture studies that there’s a compound within turmeric called curcumin which dismantles plaques and tangles and you can see this happening under the microscope,” Jebelli says, explaining in his book that “further tests found that curcumin might even stop tangles forming.”
Jebelli concludes that while further research is needed, evidence of turmeric and curcumin’s role in countering Alzheimer’s disease is certainly growing. “When you look at the literature, there’s a lot of evidence for it,” he says.
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One study found that turmeric can destroy the beta-amyloid plaques present in Alzheimer’s disease
One Chinese human clinical trial found that turmeric extract BCM-95, which is found in the popular food supplement Bio-Curcumin, is very effective in preventing further cognitive decline
in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, a 2015 study found that curcumin’s powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help fight off the brain disorder. “Curcumin has demonstrated ability to enter the brain, bind and destroy the beta-amyloid plaques present in Alzheimer’s disease with reduced toxicity,” explains study author Wellington Pham.
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